SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 23, 2013

Beverly bartending instructor charged with groping student

BEVERLY — The owner of a bartending school is facing an indecent assault and battery charge after one of his students told police he locked the door to the classroom, then grabbed her breasts, one afternoon last week.

Hugh McGowan, 63, of 134 Lynn St., Peabody, pleaded not guilty to the charge yesterday during his arraignment in Salem District Court, where he was released on $500 cash bail.

McGowan, accompanied by lawyer Marc Salinas, had shown up to court in response to a warrant.

The student, who is in her 30s and from New Hampshire, told police there and again in Beverly that on the afternoon of July 17, she stayed after class to work on her flash cards for the bartending course she was taking at “Bar Time” in Beverly.

She said McGowan told her “Why don’t you show me those triple D” breasts and “Give me a cleavage shot, I just want to look.” She said no, she told police.

She said he persisted, then appeared to lock the door to the classroom before returning and reaching into her shirt and pulling out her breasts. She pulled away, she told police.

The woman went home and told both her mother and a friend what had occurred, then went to police.

When Beverly police contacted McGowan, he asked them if it had “anything to do with the girl yesterday,” then declined to speak further with them.

He is due back in court Aug. 23 for a pretrial conference.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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